Ahhh, the school Carnival–the fundraiser oh-so-cleverly disguised as family fun– always something the kids look forward to every year, Scout included.  Even though us parents are grimacing at the noise and the crowded hallways, Scout doesn’t notice any of it and is just happily immersed in carnival-like games, bad food and jumpy-thingies.

I have to admit, any social event at the school with Scout is a bit painful–and the Carnival is probably the worst.  Because Scout is so excited to be there, you can just imagine the amount of twinkling going on.  This time I was volunteering in one of the rooms so most of the time Scout’s dad was walking around with him–he told me that as they stood in line for things many parents clearly were looking at Scout, no doubt wondering what the heck he was doing.  As much as you try to summon your inner Bill Murray and tell yourself, “it just doesn’t matter, it just doesn’t matter”….it does matter what people think of your child.

Plus whenever we’re there at the school with all of the kids around it’s so clear that Scout is still in his own little world.  I remember a couple of years ago when I went in for his Halloween party.  All of the kids were dressed up and excitedly laughing and chatting with each other, showing off their costumes and being silly. Not Scout.  He was sitting off on his own, I honestly don’t even remember what he was doing.  He seemed happy though, so I guess that’s a good thing.  But it’s painful for a parent to watch their child looking so removed from the action.  It’s hard not to put your own ‘typical’ feelings in the situation.  If that had been me as a child, all dressed up in my cool witchy-poo costume, I would have sooner died than be sitting all by myself at a Halloween party!

This Carnival event did have better potential than years past, I have to say…we arranged to meet Scout’s ‘best friend’ there at the beginning of the evening so they could pal around together at the school.  At last!   I wouldn’t have to look at other friends running through the halls hand in hand and feel sad that my son wasn’t doing the same!  But alas–according to Coreman, even though they were physically together, Scout and his friend really weren’t connecting all that much. Other than some hand-holding going down a slide  there was no, “hey, let’s go do this!” or, “did you see how I shot that basket?” or what-have-you. Maybe at nine years old that is still pretty normal? I don’t know, I’d have to think not. After a couple of hours they went their separate ways with barely a goodbye.  It made it all the more clear that even though this boy has the honored moniker of ‘best friend’, in Scout’s world it’s really not much more than words.

When will these events ever get easier???  I will say I do notice improvements as he gets older–we DID meet a friend there, after all– but I can’t help but feel that we are still stuck.  It’s like a carnival Merry-Go-Round, going around and around in the same place but never getting anywhere.

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